(WASHINGTON, D.C) – Amnesty International met with U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on Friday.
Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International's Moscow office, attended the meeting. Nikitin said:
"Amnesty International was pleased to reiterate our support for Edward Snowden in person. We will continue to pressure governments to ensure his rights are respected – this includes the unassailable right to claim asylum wherever he may choose.
"What he has disclosed is patently in the public interest and as a whistleblower his actions were justified. He has exposed unlawful sweeping surveillance programs that unquestionably interfere with an individual's right to privacy.
"States that attempt to stop a person from revealing such unlawful behavior are flouting international law. Freedom of expression is a fundamental right.
"Instead of addressing or even owning up to these blatant breaches, the US government is more intent on persecuting him. Attempts to pressure governments to block his efforts to seek asylum are deplorable."
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists, and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied.